Article: Using a Telephone to Improve the Effectiveness of the Pre-Employment Selection Process

Public agencies are constantly looking for ways to make their employee selection process more effective without it being more costly. One of the greatest returns on investment, yet often overlooked, is a simple telephone call.

An article by Dr. Jim Kuthy and Dr. Jalane Meloun in the Summer 2014 edition of The Call discusses this topic.

Read the article online now:

Using a Telephone to Improve the Effectiveness of the Pre-Employment Selection Process

Using a Telephone to Improve the Effectiveness of the Pre-Employment Selection Process

Article: Hiring for Skill and Attitude

A recent hiring trend encourages managers to hire job applicants based on attitude more than skill. In this Fall, 2012 article in The Call, Dr. Jim Kuthy and Heather Patchell, M.A. emphasize the importance of testing for both skill and attitude in the pre-hire process.

Read the article online now:

Hire for Skill and Attitude

Hire for Skill and Attitude

New CritiCall Custom Proof Reading Test

The latest version of CritiCall includes a custom proof reading test. In this video, Victor Muh explains what the test is and how to implement it.

If you have any questions about the custom proof reading test or  CritiCall, please contact us!

Video: CritiCall and Florida Highway Patrol Validation Study

In this video presentation, Dr. Jim Kuthy:

  • Provides an overview of the studies that demonstrate the effectiveness the CritiCall Dispatcher Pre-employment Testing Software
  • Reviews the outcomes of those studies
  • Provides information to current and future CritiCall users about the importance of such studies
  • Offers additional PSAP’s the opportunity to participate criterion-related validation study
    for no charge or obligation
    • Participation in this free study can result in evidence that CritiCall testing is fair and job-related (i.e. valid) for those PSAP’s that provide data

If your PSAP would like to participate in the free criterion-related validation study, please contact Dr. Jim Kuthy at 800-999-0438 or by email at

For more information about the Florida Highway Patrol validation study:

911 Dispatcher Orientation (Video)

Interested in being a 911 dispatcher? Watch this video by Gateway Technical College. It covers the requirements and expectations for doing well in the 911 dispatcher and emergency calltaker field.

Research Shows that CritiCall is a Strong Predictor of Emergency Dispatcher/Calltaker Job Success

A criterion validation study with the Florida Highway State Patrol shows a very strong relationship between scores on the CritiCall Pre-employment tests and job performance in an emergency 911 dispatch environment.
[view the press release]

CritiCall Criterion Validation Study: Florida Highway Patrol

Biddle Consulting Group recently conducted a study that demonstrated CritiCall test scores are a strong predictor of job performance as determined through supervisor ratings of more than sixty State Highway Patrol Dispatchers/Calltakers. This validation study was conducted in accordance with the requirements of the federal government’s Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures for criterion-related studies (see The uncorrected correlation coefficient (also known as a validity coefficient) between overall test scores and job performance ratings was 0.41, and the correlation coefficient statistically-adjusted for the unreliability of the criteria was 0.44. The United States Department of Labor (DOL) classifies these levels of correlation as being very beneficial (which is its highest rating description described by the DOL for this type of relationship). Furthermore, the reliability of the combination of test modules from the CritiCall test used during the analysis was also an extremely strong 0.92 (out of a possible 1.00), which the United States Department of Labor indicates can be interpreted as being excellent (again, the highest rating-level described by the DOL).


A statistical-expectancy analysis determined that if the assumption is made that 60% of test takers would succeed on the job as dispatchers/calltakers if no testing was performed, using CritiCall overall test scores would increase the prediction of success from 37% for those test takers who scored the lowest on the test to 75% for those who scored highest on the CritiCall test. Based on these studies it was determined that overall scores from CritiCall Pre-Employment Testing Software are very likely to strongly predict job performance of job candidates.

About the CritiCall Dispatcher/Calltaker Software:

The CritiCall Pre-Employment Dispatcher Testing Software includes a series of work-sample tests designed to measure a dispatcher job applicant’s ability to successfully perform many of the work functions they would be required to perform on the job (measuring abilities required prior to their receiving any training or experience on the job) as an emergency dispatcher or emergency calltaker.

The CritiCall dispatcher skills tests include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Multi-Tasking
  • Decision Making
  • Map Reading
  • Spelling
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Prioritization
  • Proofreading

For more information about the CritiCall Dispatcher Skills Testing Software, visit

Personnel Testing in the Public Safety Industry: A Practitioner’s Guide for Developing Balanced and Defensible Assessments


Personnel Testing in the Public Safety Industry: A Practitioner’s Guide for Developing Balanced and Defensible Assessments 
by Dan A. Biddle, Ph.D. and Stacy L. Bell-Pilchard, M.S. (ISBN10: 0-7414-9686-0; ISBN13: 978-0-7414-9686-7)

Public Safety Personnel Testing

  • Basic points of civil rights: Title VII of the 1991 Civil Rights Act, adverse impact, and significance
  • Validation and benefits of developing a valid and effective hiring program
  • Process and benefits of creating written tests using content and criterion-related validity
  • Importance of using structured interviews and how to develop, validate, and analyze them
  • Steps for developing and validating physical ability tests (PATs), setting cutoff scores, and the importance of testing both candidates and incumbents
  • Key competencies that should be measured in firefighter and police officer recruitments
  • Useful checklists for evaluating the validity of pre-employment and promotional selection assessments
  • Overview of a recent case of public safety testing bringing to light the fine lines between testing, diversity, adverse impact, and equal protection


911 Dispatchers Can Role-Play and Rehearse Emergency Call Scenarios with Their Computers Before Taking a Live 911 Call

CritiCall Testing Software, the leading 911 dispatcher testing program for the US and Canada, is pleased to announce the release of its TactiCall 911 software designed to automate the role-playing aspect of a 911 dispatcher’s ongoing training.

Folsom, California (PRWEB) August 23, 2013

Whenever a citizen is in a position to reach out to a 911 dispatcher for help, the expectation is that an organized and well-prepared professional will be assisting them. A new software program, TactiCall, will help make this expectation a reality.

When it comes to issues of life or health, no one wants the responsible party to be learning on the job. The same is true when a call is made to 911. Callers who find themselves in dire situations expect to be assisted by well-prepared professionals who are aptly suited to help them out of trouble. That degree of preparation doesn’t come by accident, though. 911 dispatchers must continually train for many hours in order to be prepared for the myriad of emergency situations that confront them. Typically this sort of training is managed by role-playing with a supervisor, training officer, or another dispatcher. It is costly, however, when agencies need two people to train just one. That’s where TactiCall ( comes in to play.

TactiCall is a software program that uses advanced voice-engine technology and proprietary word-spotting expertise that allows a dispatcher to train with his or her own personal computer. With TactiCall, the computer actually “listens” to how a dispatcher responds to simulated calls and provides feedback as to the degree of success. Training officers can create an unlimited number of realistic training scenarios by which they are able to field simulated emergency calls right from their computer. The TactiCall software focuses on two main dimensions of job performance that—when executed correctly—typically result in superior job performance and outcomes. These two dimensions are 1) familiarity with protocols (knowing what to say) and 2) proper voice control (knowing how to say it.)

Trainers or supervisors can quickly and easily create a training call, which is basically a simulated 911 call. The dispatchers “answer” the call and respond to the human voice prompts as they would in a real 911 emergency call. The TactiCall software “listens” to their responses and determines if the key words—those necessary for a successful call—are used by the trainee. A back-and-forth dialog continues between the dispatcher and the computer until the call concludes. The responses are scored and the call is optionally repeated to build repetition.

“Agencies are able to train many more people at much less cost, now, due to the advances in voice engine technology,” explains TactiCall V.P. of Products Michael Callen. “A single individual can put in hours of practice calls without a training officer being required. If the computer can’t understand what the dispatcher said, then it is likely that an actual caller would be able to either. TactiCall allows the dispatcher to repeat a variety of calls until clear speech and proper wording become habit.”

Agencies who may benefit from automated voice training for 911 and other emergency service dispatchers and tele-communicators can receive a trial version of TactiCall by requesting it from the website at

About TactiCall: 
TactiCall is a product of Biddle Consulting Group, Inc., of Folsom, California. Biddle, one of the leading HR consulting firms in the US, has been publishing software that helps agencies hire people for 911 dispatch positions since 1999. Their testing program, CritiCall, has been joined by their new training program, TactiCall, only recently. (

Biddle offers EEO consulting, testing and job analysis software, affirmative action software and services, and statistical analysis/expert witness testimony.

Fred Huppert Retires

With mixed feelings, we announce the retirement of Fred Huppert. For several years he has been our lead support technician for the OPAC, CritiCall, AutoAAP and C4 software products. If you’ve ever contacted Biddle’s technical support, then you’ve probably spoken to Fred.

Fred is known around the office not only for his ability to chase down solutions but also for his dry wit, fondness of playing billiards and eating dessert and, most importantly, his love for his wife Grace.

Congratulations, Fred!

We’ll miss you, Fred! Congratulations on your retirement!

Mike Callen, VP of Products, had this to say about Fred:

“Fred Huppert is truly one of a kind and we wish his wife Grace the very best as she now assumes complete responsibility for him.

In all seriousness, I had the joy of working with Fred on-and-off since 1994.  Fred has worked in sales, customer service, quality assurance, technical support and product documentation.  He’s been an absolutely indispensable employee and an all-around great guy with which to work.  Fred is unflappable under pressure and simply conveys confidence to our clients.  Those who work with him know that he was willing to continue to persevere until an issue was handled.  We are fortunate that he was able to work with Jon White for many months and has inspired Jon to adopt that same customer service philosophy.  While we will desperately miss Fred and his fantastic humor, we are very happy for him and his wife Grace.  They have some great plans for the near future and this seems as though it will truly be a wonderful ‘next phase’ of life for them.”

Jon White, Technical Support

Jon White, Technical Support

As Mike mentioned, Jon White has now assumed Fred’s role in technical support.  In the almost 3 years of working for Biddle, Jon has been involved in software testing, sales, customer service and technical support. We asked Jon to share about his new job at Biddle. He said, “I enjoy working for a company that values integrity.  That’s important to me. I feel very accomplished knowing that I’m helping people in my new technical support role. Some of the tech support issues are a challenge but I’m learning more everyday. Fred was very patient while training me and leaves big shoes to fill. However, he also gave me the tools I need to feel confident and be successful in my new position. Thanks, Fred!”

We’ll definitely miss Fred, but we’re also happy for him and grateful that he shared with Jon all of  his “secrets of the trade.”

By the way, if you are a current  OPACCritiCallAutoAAP or C4 customer, you can still reach technical support by calling 800-999-0438, extension 127. Jon is ready to help!  

Celebrating Independence Day

On July 4th the Biddle Consulting Group office will be closed to celebrate Independence Day. In honor of our nation’s birthday, we’ve posted a reading of the Declaration of Independence that was performed in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, PA. You’ll recognize the readers as a variety of celebrities gathered for this event, including Morgan Freeman, Whoopie Goldberg, Kevin Spacey, Michael Douglas and several others.